HA Acoustics are specialist acoustic consultants covering the UK

Email: info@ha-acoustics.co.uk  Tel: 01245 206 250    

New Build Sound Testing Guide

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Sound insulation testing

New Build Sound Testing Guide

Testing new build sound Essex

If you are constructing a new build or converting a building to residential, then much of your success lies in how quickly and cost-effectively the building can be signed off for compliance with Building Regulations. One of the aspects that your construction project will need to pass is in relation to sound insulation.

At HA Acoustics we are leaders in sound testing new build and conversions to residential across Essex, the surrounding areas and even go nationwide.

How To Test New Build Sound

For building and conversion projects in Essex, there are two types of sound insulation tests that may be used to measure sound in your property. These include airborne and impact tests. Airborne tests use a large dodecahedron speaker to produce white or pink noise. Then, the noise level in source room is measured, this is then tested on the other side of the partition wall or a floor below. Whether that is a party wall or floor/ceiling, the sound will be measured. This way, it is possible to measure how much sound is lost through the partition and thus determine its performance.

For residential buildings, testing new build sound is equivalent to making sure that a TV or radio won’t be too loud for the neighbours.

Another part of the SI test for new build and conversions acoustic performance is through impact tests. While airborne tests capture the noise that travels through the air, impact tests work to determine the sound that is transmitted directly through the construction. Usually, a series of small, precise metal hammers are rhythmically tapped onto the floor, using a tapping machine, for the impact test. The hammers drop down onto the floor. In the property beneath, the sound will be measured with a Class 1 sound level / decibel meter. This test replicates the typical impact sounds such as chair scrapes on the floor, accidentally dropping things on the floor, heavy shoes walking and loud appliances such as washing machines.

Impact sound tests are usually only conducted when there is a separating partition between two dwelling such as a floor/ceiling divide in maisonettes and/or flats, or where a property extends across another.

Which Rooms Need A New Build Sound Test?

According to the Building Regulations, specifically, Building Regulations Approved Document E, the rooms in a dwelling which require testing include all living spaces such as living rooms, bedrooms, studies, kitchens and dining rooms. Spaces that do not need a sound test include stairwells and hallways.


If you’re not sure, just email some site plans over to info@HA-acoustics.co.uk or give us a call on 01245206250 and ask


What Happens If You Fail When Testing

If you are creating a development in Essex, then time is money for your development, and you cannot afford to lose valuable time and expense with remedial treatment. The best way to make sure you save money of your development is preparing for sound insulation at the beginning of your project. There are many ways to increase the sound insulation in your new build project. However, these are all best to be considered early in the project, rather than as an afterthought.

  1. Use absorbing porous material – These can effectively ‘soak up’ sound which reduces medium and high-frequency Porous material works best within wall cavities.
  2. Consider floating floors – You can significantly reduce vibration sound by isolating the floor surface to reduce the vibration transfer — ideal for rooms with high footfall.
  3. Choose mass – Materials with high mass can help will absorb vibrations and ensure less sound energy radiates from it.

If you need any help or support to pass your sound insulation test Essex or in the surrounding areas, then HA Acoustics are on hand to help, get in touch today by calling 01245 206 250.

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